2017 CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM IN TURKEY: WHAT THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMMENDMENT DRAFT WILL CHANGE
On 10 December 2016 Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) together with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) subbmitted a draft of constitutional amendments that aim to change current parliamentary government system that Turkey is governed to a presidential system. The draft constitutional ammendment bill has been approved by parliament on 21 January well more than the 330 votes in the parliament needed for approval. These changes will now go to a popular referendum, which will take place on 16 April. The important changes that envisaged by the constitutional ammendment bill are that The prime minister’s office and the cabinet will be abolished , The president will become the head of the executive branch and will be allowed to issue decrees, The president will be allowed to retain ties to a political party, The presidential and parliamentary polls will take place simultaneously, every five years, The Judiciary will be required to be impartial and independent, the age for right to be elected will decrease to 18 and the number of member of parliaments will increase from 550 to 600. The main aim of the changes is to eliminate the pupillage system over the civilian politics as the 1982 Constitution prepared after the military coup and by the military junta has estabklished an institutional pupillage system over the civilian govrnments. It is obvious that any attempt to form an institutional control over the people’s will is against democracy. By making will of the people as central decision making of the political mechanism the ammendment bill is envisaged to change the whole system to be more accountable to people. The paper is discussing 2017 constitutional ammendment bill in Turkey which will be voted in popular referandum on 16 April 2017.